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Old 05-02-2017, 12:27 PM   #1
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Question Portable generator and grounding

Those of you with portable generators mounted on their travel trailers. Do you ground them? Do you have a ground wire attached to the trailer frame? Do you dangle a wire to ground when in use? Do you ignore it?

Attaching ground to the trailer frame seems to make the most sense, but is the trailer actually grounded? I mean, itís sitting on rubber wheels. The stabilizers are sitting on plastic pads. The jack is sitting on either plastic pad or pieces of wood. Seems pretty isolated from ground as a whole to me.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:28 PM   #2
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We just use the three wire cord. No other grounding
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:47 PM   #3
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Most portable generators don't require grounding under most applications. For the RV I wouldn't worry about it too much. When I had my Airstream with the dual Honda setup we didn't bother to ground anything, just plugged it and used it.

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Old 05-03-2017, 12:00 AM   #4
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There is a point to be made here. The chassis ground of a generator is not normally tied to the neutral side of the voltage output, like it is in a house or camper pedestal outlet. There are lots of stories why this is so, but the end result is that when you plug your shore power plug into a generator outlet, the chassis ground is not connected to the return (white wire) in an AC outlet. That can cause problems for voltage and circuit monitors, like surge protectors. To overcome this, it is common to wire the ground (green) to the neutral (white) in a regular 120 volt, 15 amp, 3-prong plug, and plug it into the generator's 110Volt outlet. That will tie the two together and alleviate these malfunctions. Just a simple plug, with a 1" jumper inside, marked as "Grd to Neu connector" or words to that effect.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:28 AM   #5
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Thank you folks. I play electrical engineer during the day and tend to overthink things occasionally. I also make clear to anyone who listens that I play engineer, not electrician. I know theory (mostly), not real life installation! I assumed no ground was necessary, until the instructions suggested otherwise.

Found this, which makes me more comfortable.

2014 NEC

250.34(A) Portable Generators.
The frame of a portable generator shall not be required to be connected to a grounding electrode as defined in 250.52 for a system supplied by the generator under the following conditions:

1. The generator supplies only equipment mounted on the generator, cord-and-plug-connected equipment through receptacles mounted on the generator, or both, and

2. The normally non-current-carrying metal parts of equipment and the equipment grounding conductor terminals of the receptacle are connected to the generator frame.

Marty, thank you for your input I'll know what's wrong if my gfci at my sink keeps tripping after forgetting the trick with the plug!


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Old 05-03-2017, 01:32 AM   #6
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Check out the specific generator, some are bonded neutral, others are floating neutral. The bonded ones will play fine with a GFCI.

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Old 05-03-2017, 01:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Check out the specific generator, some are bonded neutral, others are floating neutral. The bonded ones will play fine with a GFCI.

Aaron

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Mine is a cheap no name brand. I'll assume the worst! But I probably won't do anything about it until I see problems because, well, memory.

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Old 05-03-2017, 01:35 AM   #8
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Mine is a cheap no name brand. I'll assume the worst! But I probably won't do anything about it until I see problems because, well, memory.

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Define "cheap no name brand"...

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Old 05-03-2017, 01:38 AM   #9
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Wen 2000w

Inverter style, bought from Woot.com for $330.

At least no-name to me at the time.

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Old 05-03-2017, 01:43 AM   #10
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Wen 2000w

Inverter style, bought from Woot.com for $330.

At least no-name to me at the time.

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http://www.wenproducts.com/store/gen...nerator-56200i


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